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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, March 22, 2010 -- 3A

0 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, March 22, 2010- 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
LANSING
Unemployment
rates rise in most
Michigan regions
Unemployment rates rose in
January in 16 of Michigan's 17
major labor markets.
The state said Thursday that
seasonally unadjusted jobless
rates increased everywhere
except in the Lansing-East Lan-
sing area, where the rate was
unchanged.
The lowest jobless rate was 9.3
percent in the Ann Arbor region.
The highest was 20 percent in the
northeastern Lower Peninsula.
Significant increases in jobless
rates were recorded in all regions
from January 2009 to January
2010.
Regional unemployment rates
are not seasonally adjusted.
But national and state rates are
adjusted to remove seasonal
influences such as climate and
production cycles.
WASHINGTON
Obama promises
commitment to
immigration reform
President Barack Obama is
reassuring immigration reform
advocates that he is committed to
working with Congress on a com-
prehensive bill to fix a "broken
immigration system."
In a videotaped message pre-
sented on giant screens to thou-
sands marching on the National
Mall, Obama warned of the cost
of inaction. He said problems with
today's immigration systeminclude
families being torn apart, employ-
ers gaming the system and police
officers struggling to keep commu-
nities safe.
Obama said he would do every-
thing in his power to forge a bipar-
tisan consensus on immigration
reform this year.
Activists have been frustrated
about the pace of that reform.
Obama's taped comments were
released just as he worked to get
last-minute votes on a health care
overhaul.
NEW YORK
Cocaine importer
sentenced to 20 yrs.
A former leader in the Colombi-
an guerrilla group FARC has been
sentenced to more than 20 years in
prison.
Jorge Enrique Rodriguez Mend-
ieta pleaded guilty in December
to an indictment accusing him of
importing tons of cocaine into the
A federal judge in Washington
sentenced him on Friday.
Rodriguez Mendieta was a
commander in the Revolution-
ary Armed Forces of Colombia,
which prosecutors said controls
half the world's cocaine supply.
The U.S. has designated it as a
narco-terrorist organization.
Rodriguez Mendieta was
arrested in 2004 and extradited

to the U.S. in 2007.
He was prosecuted in Wash-
ington by federal prosecutors
from New York City, who have
expertise in cases involving
FARC.
PARIS
Frustrations await
Bush, Clinton joint
visit to Haiti
One restored a Haitian presi-
dent to power; the other flew him
back out again. Former U.S. presi-
dents Bill Clinton and George W.
Bush are visiting Haiti on today,
reminding the country of its
tumultuous recent past just as
frustration over an uneven earth-
quake relief effort is bringing pol-
itics back to the surface.
The ex-presidents are spear-
heading U.S. fundraising in
response to the Jan. 12 earth-
quake. Tapped by President
Barack Obama for the role, they
are making the one-day visit to
assess recovery needs.
Charged memories of their
policies toward the impover-
ished Caribbean nation are
already mixing with frustration
over deplorable living conditions
among the 1.3 million homeless
quake survivors. Supporters of
ousted President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide have scheduled protests
for today - demanding the return
of their exiled leader and pleading
for more aid.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

HEALTH CARE
From Page 1A
- the room burst into applause
and hugs. An exultant president
exchanged a high-five with his
chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.
A second, smaller measure -
making changes in the first - was
lined up for passage later in the eve-
ning. It would then go to the Senate,
where Democratic leaders said they
had the votes to pass it.
The nonpartisan Congressional
Budget Office said the legislation
awaiting the president's approval
would extend coverage to 32 mil-
lion Americans who lack it, ban
insurers from denying coverage
on the basis of pre-existing medi-
cal conditions and cut deficits by
an estimated $138 billion over a
decade. If realized, the expansion
of coverage would include 95 per-
cent of all eligible individuals under
age 65.
In a statement released after the
vote, U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-

Mich.), who has proposed a health
care reform bill every year since
1957, praised the passing of the his-
toric vote.
"After generations of debate, we
have successfully addressed one of
the greatest moral and economic
problems of the day," Dingell wrote.
"What we have done tonight will
protect health care, as well as jobs
and our entire economy for genera-
tions of Americans."
Dingell wrote that millions of
Americans in danger of losing their
coverage will be able to "sleep eas-
ier" knowing that they will have
health coverage.
"The youngest Americans, and
the children born in the years to
come, will not have to live with the
fear that so many Americans have
had to live with in the past," Dingell
wrote. "I am proud of the courage
displayed by our colleagues today.
This is a great day for all of us, and I
believe that someday all Americans
will share thatview."
According to a Nov.15, 2009 arti-
cle in The Michigan Daily, 34,000

uninsured Michigan residents liv-
ing in the 15th congressional dis-
trict will receive health coverage as
a result of the new legislation. The
bill will also provide 160,000 fami-
lies in the district with health cov-
erage credits.
In the article, Dingell said he was
thrilled that Congress was finally
addressingthe health care issue.
"I feel very good," Dingell said
at the time. "I've worked on this for
53 years and, before me, my dad for
23 more ... and finally we got some-
thing through the House."
In a statement released last
night, State Rep. Mark Schauer (D-
Mich.), who voted in favor of the
health care bill, wrote that the leg-
islation will cut costs for Michigan
families and businesses.
"Despite a massive misinfor-
mation campaign paid for by the
health insurance industry, the
simple fact is that our health care
system is broken," Schauer wrote.
"Doing nothing would allow the
health insurance companies to
keep racking up massive profits at

the expense of Michigan families,
seniors and businesses, and ulti-
mately stifle our economic turn-
around.
For the first time, most Ameri-
cans would be required to pur-
chase insurance, and face penalties
if they refused. Much of the money
in the bill would be devoted to sub-
sidies to help families at incomes
of up to $88,000 a year pay their
premiums.
Far beyond the political ramifi-
cations - a concern the president
repeatedly insisted he paid no mind
- were the sweeping changes the
bill held in store for millions of indi-
viduals, the insurance companies
that would come under tougher
control and the health care provid-
ers, many of whom would face high-
er taxes.
The insurance industry, which
spent millions on advertising trying
to block the bill, would come under
new federal regulation. They would
be forbidden from placing lifetime
dollar limits on policies, from deny-
ing coverage to children because of

pre-existing conditions and fron
canceling policies when a policy-
holder becomes ill.
Parents would be able to keep
children up to age 26on their fam-
ily insurance plans, three years lon-
ger than is now the case.
A new high-risk pool would offer
coverage to uninsured people with
medical problems until 2014, when
the coverage expansion would go
into high gear.
The final obstacle to passage..
was cleared a few hours before the,
vote, when Obama and Democratic
leaders reached a compromise with-
anti-abortion lawmakers whose
rebellion had left the outcome in-
doubt. The president issued an,
executive order pledging that no
federal funds would be used for
elective abortion, satisfying Rep;.
Bart Stupak of Michigan and a
handful of like-minded lawmakers.
- Daily News Editors Nicole.
Aber and Stephanie Steinberg,,
and The Associated Press,.
contributed to this report.

t

ARMSTRONG
From Page1A
successful representative body. He
added that establishing better rela-
tionships between University stu-
dents, the administration and the
assembly would make MSA a more
"potent power."
With his two-year history as
chair of MSA's LGBT Commission,
Armstrong, a sociology concentra-
tor from Ridgefield, Conn., said he
knows how to use collaboration to
help specific communities grow.
"I have an experience of know-
ing how to build relationships
within (the LGBT) community and
organize that community to work
toward a goal," Armstrongsaid.
Armstrong said he wants to
"empower MSA with the little
FUNDING
From Page 1A
to balance Michigan's budget, espe-
ciallyconsideringthenearly$1billion
budget deficit the state government
is facing. But she added that cuts to
funding for higher education aren't
the best way to balance the budget
and could be potentially detrimental
to the future of Michigan's economy.
"It's a 3-percent cut for all uni-
versities and colleges in the state
including the University of Michi-
gan, which is an unacceptable level
of cuts," Brater said. "It's the wrong
direction to be goingif we want to
diversify our economy. We have to
put more moneyin higher education,
notless."
However, Jelinek said the cuts in
aid were minimal in the greater con-
text of the state's budget.
"Education is a priority, and the
cuts we made have been quite small
in comparison to other cuts," he said.
Included in the bill is a provision,
known as the Tuition Grant Pro-
The
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things" that would help build the
campus community into a more
proactive student body. He cited
changes like wireless Internet in the
Diag, an easier application process
for intramural sports teams and a
Saturday night meal option with
Residential Dining Services.
Armstrong and Raymond are also
working together to combat big-
ger problems on campus by making
issues relevant to a broader range of
students.
"If you build that sense of com-
munity, then one issue becomes
everyone's issue," Armstrong said.
The Good Samaritan Law is one
issue Armstrong and Raymond
will lobby for if they are elected.
This law, if passed in Lansing, will
prohibit University campus police
from issuing a Minor in Possession
to an intoxicated student who calls
gram, that would restore $31 million
in tuition grants to students attend-
ing private colleges in Michigan.
"Basically the bill puts about $30
million back in that budget and cuts
a total of $42 million from the
public colleges and universities,"
Brater said. "So basically they'll
transfer money out of the public
colleges and universities to the
private."
But according to Jelinek, "that is
the only support we give to private
colleges."
The bill will go to the Senate
floor this week and, if passed, will
move onto the House.
Brater said she thinks the bill
willpassintheSenatebutisunsure
if it will pass inthe House.
"The Republicans that con-
trol the committee also control
the Senate floor, so they'll have a-
majority to pass it, but it has to go
through both houses so we'll have
some negotiation," she said.
For now though, Michigan's
public universities are preparing
for cuts in aid and are planning

an ambulance for an intoxicated
friend.
"That is one of the biggest things
on campus that prevents students
from taking their friends in," Arm-
strongsaid.
Armstrong said his activism
started during his freshman year
when he attempted to bring the
Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay,
Transgender, Ally College Confer-
ence - a conference where LGBTA
student leaders from across the
Midwest come together to pro-
mote dialogue and mobilize stu-
dents to action - to the University.
Armstrong said the project failed
because of the lack of communica-
tion among students.
He said that even after things
didn't work out, he rallied again
for the conference and succeeded
in getting it to come to campus the
accordingly.
Cynthia Wilbanks, University
vice president for Government Rela-
tions, said the University has been
fighting hard to reduce the cuts and

next year.
"That's really important because
students deserve to see someone
that isn't going to give up after one
hiccup," he said.
Throughout the year, Armstrong
has advocated for University Hous-
ing to adopt a gender-neutral hous-
ing option. He said that by bringing
the gender-neutral housing issue
"into the forefront of campus," he
has tried to make students under-
stand that gender-neutral housing
is relevant to everyone, and not just
one group of students.
Armstrong said awareness of stu-
dent issues would move MSA for-
ward to solve student concerns. He
added that pushing MSA advocacy
with more force would make MSA
more relevant in the minds of stu-
dents.
Armstrong said he also wants
maintain the level of aid that the
University currently receives from
the state.
"We have testified in front of the
Senate about the need for funds,"

to encourage MSA to get involved-
with issues that have an impact
beyond campus. For example, Arm-
strong said he wants to work with
the Michigan Legislature and Ann.
Arbor City Council on issues that
make students feel "complacent,"
especially when it comes to tuition
increases.
"A lot of students are being forced-
to reconsider every year becausl1
they can't afford beinghere, which is
something I do not feel comfortable
with," he said.
Armstrong said his passion and
determination would help him tj:
make the issues he tackles on MSA
relevant to all students.
"I really have' a certain sense of
purpose and drive towards voicing
student concerns on this campus
and pushing for a broader sense of
community," he said.
she said. "We need the investment -
in higher education for the economid
future of the state and for our ability
to provide a high-quality education!
for our students."

LECTURE SERIEs

Larry J. Schweiger
President and Chief
Executive Officer, Na-
tional Wildlife
Federation
Author, Last Chance:
Preserving
Life on
Earth

TUESDAY
MARCH 23,2010
5:00 P.M. LECTURE
University of Michigan
Law School
Lawyers Club Lounge
551 South State Street
Free and Open to
the Public, Reception
Immediately Following

Michigan Law
gkobaffeadersr~i in Law

SYMPOSIUM

The State of Michigan is
considering how best to pursue
environmental justice in poor
and minority communities. Join
governmental representatives
and key stakeholders as they
share their views on a recently
released draft policy.
PANELISTS
Steven Chester, Rhonda Anderson, Jarod Davis,
Ginny King, Pamela Smith, Donele Wilkins
MODERATORS
Sara Gosman, Paul Mohai

TUESDAY
MARCH 30,2010
3.:00P.M. SYMPOSIUM
ROOM 1040
DANA BUILDING (SNRE)
Free and Open to
the Public, Reception
Immediately Following
www.law.umich.edu/CENTERSANDPROGRAMS/
ELPP/Pages/default.aspx

Spring League Registration
now open @
A2U Itimate.org
Games are
Sun 3-5CM
Thur 6-8pm
At Fuller and Olson Parks
All are welcome! A2Ultimate.org

Co-Sponsored by the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, Michigan Law's Environmental Law
& Policy Program, Program in the Environment, and the School of Natural Resources and Environment

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